iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Estimating changes in soil organic carbon storage due to land use changes using a modified calculation method

Yuwu Li (1-4), Yujie Xia (2), Yanbao Lei (3), Yun Deng (1), Hui Chen (1), Liqing Sha (1), Min Cao (1), Xiaobao Deng (1)   

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 8, Issue 1, Pages 45-52 (2015)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor1151-007
Published: Jun 17, 2014 - Copyright © 2015 SISEF

Research Articles

Carbon sources and sinks have been widely scrutinized over the last ten years as a result of the Kyoto Protocol. In this paper we added a new concept (standardized reference depth, DSR) to the current calculation method in order to assess and compare the soil organic carbon (SOC) storage changes due to three major land use changes with a certain historical relationship (from primary rain forest to fallow land to natural secondary forest and finally to rubber plantations - Hevea brasiliensis) in a northern tropical ecosystem in southwest China. Over 30 years, the soil organic carbon storage did not decrease significantly with a land use change from primary rain forest to fallow land (approximately 10.3%). However, it did increase significantly (approximately 49.3%) due to conversions to natural secondary forest and rubber plantations (approximately 41.6%). In this region, the soil carbon sequestration at rubber plantations is similar to that of natural secondary forests. Compared with the modified method, the current method overestimated carbon storage on fallow land by 8.8% more than the actual storage (calculated reference depth of 13.9 cm, Dr - DSR = 13.9, without the reference depth standardization process), overestimated carbon storage at rubber plantations by 3.6% (calculated reference depth of 4.9 cm), and underestimated the natural secondary forest carbon storage by 6.4% (calculated reference depth of 9.7 cm). Thus, the modified process using the standardized reference depth for the current method is necessary for the evolution and comparison of soil carbon or other nutrient storage changes.


Soil Organic Carbon Storage, Land Use Change, Modified Calculation Method, Rubber Plantation, Tropical Forest, Kyoto Protocol

Authors’ address

Yuwu Li
Yun Deng
Hui Chen
Liqing Sha
Min Cao
Xiaobao Deng
Key Laboratory of Tropical Forest Ecology, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Yunnan 666303 (China)
Yujie Xia
Kunming Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Yunnan 650223 (China)
Yanbao Lei
Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences,, Sichuan 610041 (China)
Yuwu Li
Key Laboratory of Rubber Biology and Genetic Resource Utilization, Ministry of Agriculture, Hainan 571731 (China)

Corresponding author

Xiaobao Deng


Li Y, Xia Y, Lei Y, Deng Y, Chen H, Sha L, Cao M, Deng X (2015). Estimating changes in soil organic carbon storage due to land use changes using a modified calculation method. iForest 8: 45-52. - doi: 10.3832/ifor1151-007

Academic Editor

Gianfranco Minotta

Paper history

Received: Oct 14, 2013
Accepted: Apr 23, 2014

First online: Jun 17, 2014
Publication Date: Feb 02, 2015
Publication Time: 1.83 months

Breakdown by View Type

(Waiting for server response...)

Article Usage

Total Article Views: 50781
(from publication date up to now)

Breakdown by View Type
HTML Page Views: 42157
Abstract Page Views: 3082
PDF Downloads: 4284
Citation/Reference Downloads: 35
XML Downloads: 1223

Web Metrics
Days since publication: 3661
Overall contacts: 50781
Avg. contacts per week: 97.10

Article Citations

Article citations are based on data periodically collected from the Clarivate Web of Science web site
(last update: Feb 2023)

Total number of cites (since 2015): 15
Average cites per year: 1.67


Publication Metrics

by Dimensions ©

Articles citing this article

List of the papers citing this article based on CrossRef Cited-by.

Barnett TP, Adam JC, Lettenmaier DP (2005)
Potential impacts of a warming climate on water availability in snow dominated regions. Nature 438: 303-309.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Batjes NH (1996)
Total carbon and nitrogen in the soils of the world. European Journal of Soil Science 47: 151-163.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Batjes NH, Sombroek WG (1997)
Possibilities for carbon sequestration in tropical and subtropical soils. Global Change Biology 3: 161-173.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Batjes NH (2000)
Effects of mapped variation in soil conditions on estimates of soil carbon and nitrogen stocks for South America. Geoderma 97: 135-144.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Brown S, Lugo AE (1990)
Tropical secondary forests. Journal of Tropical Ecology 6: 1-32.
CrossRef | Gscholar
De Blécourt M, Brumme R, Xu J, Corre MD, Veldkamp E (2013)
Soil carbon stocks decrease following conversion of secondary forests to rubber (Hevea brasiliensis) plantations. PLoS ONE 8(7): e69357.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Cao M, Zhang JH, Feng ZL, Deng JW, Deng XB (1996)
Tree species composition of a seasonal rain forest in Xishuangbanna, Southwest China. Tropical Ecology 37: 183-192.
Online | Gscholar
Chen GS, Yang YS, Xie JS, Guo JF, Gao R, Qian W (2005)
Conversion of a natural broad-leafed evergreen forest into pure plantation forests in a subtropical area: effects on carbon storage. Annals of Forest Science 62 (7): 659-668.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Duah-Yentumi S, Rønn R, Christensen S (1998)
Nutrients limiting microbial growth in a tropical forest soil of Ghana under different management. Applied Soil Ecology 8: 19-24.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Ellert BH, Bettany JR (1995)
Calculation of organic matter and nutrients stored in soils under contrasting management regimes. Canadian Journal of Soil Science 75: 529-538.
CrossRef | Gscholar
FAO (2005)
Global forest resources assessment 2005. FAO Forestry Paper 147, FAO, Rome.
Online | Gscholar
FAO (2010)
Global forest resources assessment 2010. FAO Forestry Paper 163, FAO, Rome.
Online | Gscholar
Freier KP, Glaser B, Zech W (2010)
Mathematical modeling of soil carbon turnover in natural Podocarpus forest and Eucalyptus plantation in Ethiopia using compound specific δ13C analysis. Global Change Biology 16: 1487-1502.
CrossRef | Gscholar
John B, Yamashita T, Ludwig B, Flessa H (2005)
Storage of organic carbon in aggregate and density fractions of silty soils under different types of land use. Geoderma 128: 63-79.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Kern JS (1994)
Spatial patterns of soil organic carbon in the contiguous United States. Soil Science Society of America Journal 58: 439-455.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Laganière J, Angers DA, Paré D (2010)
Carbon accumulation in agricultural soils after afforestation: a meta-analysis. Global Change Biology 16: 439-453.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Lal R (2002)
Soil carbon dynamics in cropland and rangeland. Environmental Pollution 116: 353-362.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Lemenih M, Olsson M, Karltun E (2004)
Comparison of soil attributes under Cupressus lusitanica and Eucalyptus saligna established on abandoned farmlands with continuously cropped farmlands and natural forest in Ethiopia. Forest Ecology and Management 195: 57-67.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Lettens S, Van Orshoven J, Van Wesemael B, Muys B (2004)
Soil organic and inorganic carbon contents of landscape units in Belgium derived using data from 1950 to 1970. Soil Use Management 20: 40-47.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Li HM, Aide TM, Ma YX, Liu WJ, Cao M (2007)
Demanding for rubber is causing the loss of high diversity rain forest in SW China. Biodiversity Conservation 16: 1731-1745.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Li Y, Deng X, Cao M, Lei Y, Xia Y (2013)
Soil restoration potential with corridor replanting engineering in the monoculture rubber plantations of Southwest China. Ecological Engineering 51: 169-177.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Liao CZ, Luo YQ, Fang CM, Chen JK, Li B (2012)
The effects of plantation practice on soil properties based on the comparison between natural and planted forests: a meta-analysis. Global Ecology and Biogeography 21: 318-327.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Liu GS, Jiang NH, Zhang LD, Liu ZL (1996)
Soil physical and chemical analysis and description of soil profiles. Standards Press of China, Beijing, China, pp. 5-6, 31-32. [in Chinese]
Liu WJ, Zhang YP, Li HM, Meng FR, Liu YH, Wang CM (2005)
Fog and rainwater chemistry in the tropical seasonal rain forest of Xishuangbanna, Southwest China. Water, Air, and Soil Pollution 167: 295-309.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Lugo AE, Brown S (1993)
Management of tropical soils as sinks or sources of atmospheric carbon. Plant and Soil 149 (1): 27-41.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Marín-Spiotta E, Sharma S (2012)
Carbon storage in successional and plantation forest soils: a tropical analysis. Global Ecology and Biogeography
CrossRef | Gscholar
Meersmans J, De Ridder F, Canters F, De Baets S, Van Molle M (2008)
A multiple regression approach to assess the spatial distribution of Soil Organic Carbon (SOC) at the regional scale (Flanders, Belgium). Geoderma 143: 1-13.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Nelson DM, Sommer LE (1975)
A rapid and accurate method for estimating organic carbon in soil. Proceedings of the Indiana Academic Science 84: 456-462.
Nsabimana D, Klemedtson L, Kaplin BA, Wallin G (2008)
Soil carbon and nutrient accumulation under forest plantations in southern Rwanda. African Journal of Environmental Science and Technology 2: 142-149.
Online | Gscholar
Paul EA, Paustian K, Elliott ET, Cole CV (1997)
Soil organic matter in temperate agro ecosystems. CRC Press, New York, USA, pp. 15-49, 343-351.
Paul M, Catterall CP, Pollard PC, Kanowski J (2010)
Recovery of soil properties and functions in different rain forest restoration pathways. Forest Ecology and Management 259: 2083-2092.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Post WM, Kwon KC (2000)
Soil carbon sequestration and land-use change: processes and potential. Global Change Biology 6: 317-327.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Schumacher BA (2002)
Methods for the determination of the total organic carbon (TOC) in soils and sediments. EPA, Washington, DC, USA, pp. 23.
Online | Gscholar
Stocker TF, Qin D, Plattner G-K, Tignor MMB, Allen SK, Boschung J, Nauels A, Xia Y, Bex V, Midgley PM, Working Group I Technical Support Unit (2013)
Climate change 2013, the physical science basis, contribution of Working Group I to the fourth assessment report of the intergovernmental panel on climate change, summary for policymakers.
Online | Gscholar
Sleutel S, De Neve S, Hofman G, Boeckx P, Beheydt D, Van Cleemput O, Mestdagh I, Lootens P, Carlier L, Van Camp N, Verbeeck H, Vande Walle I, Samson R, Lust N, Lemeurb R (2003)
Carbon stock changes and carbon sequestration potential of Flemish cropland soils. Global Change Biology 9: 1193-1203.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Solomon D, Lehmann J, Mamo T, Fritzsche F, Zech W (2002)
Phosphorus forms and dynamics as influenced by land use changes in sub-humid Ethiopian highlands. Geoderma 105: 21-48.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Somebroek W, Nachtergaele F, Hebel A (1993)
Amounts, dynamics and sequestering of carbon in tropical and subtropical soils. Ambio 22: 417-426.
Van Dijk AIJ, Keenan RJ (2007)
Planted forests and water in perspective. Forest Ecology and Management 251: 1-9.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Veldkamp E (1994)
Organic carbon turnover in three tropical soils under pasture after deforestation. Soil Science Society of America Journal 58: 175-180.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Wilson B, Puri G (2001)
A comparison of pinewood and moorland soils in the Abernethy Forest Reserve, Scotland. Global Ecology and Biogeography 10: 291-303.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Xu J, Grumbine RE, Beckschäfer P (2014)
Landscape transformation through the use of ecological and socioeconomic indicators in Xishuangbanna, Southwest China, Mekong Region. Ecological Indicators 36: 749-756.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Yang XM, Wander MM (1999)
Tillage effects on soil organic carbon distribution and storage in a silt loam soil in Illinois. Soil and Tillage Research 52: 1-9.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Zhang H, Zhang GL (2005)
Landscape-scale soil quality change under different farming systems of a tropical farm in Hainan, China. Soil Use and Management 21: 58-64.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Zhang HB, Luo YM, Wong MH, Zhao QG, Zhang GL (2007a)
Soil organic carbon storage and changes with reduction in agricultural activities in Hong Kong. Geoderma 139: 412-419.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Zhang H, Zhang GL, Zhao YG, Zhao WJ, Qi ZP (2007b)
Chemical degradation of a Ferralsol (Oxisol) under intensive rubber (Hevea brasiliensis) farming in tropical China. Soil and Tillage Research 93: 109-116.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Zhang M, Fu XH, Feng WT, Zou XM (2007c)
Soil organic carbon in pure rubber and tea-rubber plantations in southwestern. Tropical Ecology 48: 1-7.
Online | Gscholar
Zheng H, Ouyang ZY, Wang XK, Miao H, Zhao TQ, Peng TB (2005)
How different reforestation approaches affect red soil properties in southern China. Land Degradation and Development 16: 387-396.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Zhou ZY, Liu J (2004)
Xishuangbanna won the world’s first yield production of rubber for 9 consecutive years. Web site. [in Chinese]
Online | Gscholar

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. More info